How does Medicare Part D work?

Part D is the latest and most complex of the four parts of Medicare. People still ask what Medicare Part D is, and this implies that the government is not doing a good job educating the elderly in this very vital and important aspect of Medicare. Part D of Medicare insures prescription drugs which are usually filled by mail or at a local pharmacy. The typical drug plan for Medicare part D plans
consists of four layers commonly referred to as layer 1, layer 2, layer 3 and layer 4. Level 1 is for generic drugs, level 2 is for the preferred brand, level 3 is for the non-preferred brand and level 4 is for specialized drugs. Now we are also beginning to see a 5-level structure with some of the Part D plans of Medicare. The additional layer is used together with generics, thus creating a non-preferred generic and a preferred generic.

Discuss your annual prescription costs with a pharmacist to find out what you would pay in retail if you had “Uninsured.” This is important because the basic Medicare Part D coverage is valid only up to $2,250 for most health insurance plans. After spending more than $2,250, enter the “Donut Hole” with most of our plans and this is where your coverage ends. You keep paying your monthly premiums when you are in the “Donut Hole” and you have a Medicare Part D, but you will have no insurance until you reach the catastrophic area that is linked to $5,100. A large number of seniors will not reach the catastrophic area in Medicare Part D and will pay 100% when they exceed $2,250 if they choose the wrong plan. The policies you choose during the open enrollment period may be the most important decision you make for your retirement years.

Talking with a qualified Medicare insurance agent will help you choose the right plan. You can take advantage of the correct Medicare Part D drug plan if you do your homework. You can save 60% or more with a Medicare drug plan, but it depends on how much you spend each year. Learn more about Medicare Part D plans for 2011 and 2012. Most basic plans are sufficient if your annual costs are close to $2,250. These insurance premiums are reasonable with the basic plans and range from a minimum of $12 or more to approximately $30 per month. If your annual expenses for prescription drugs exceed $2,250, you should consider a more expensive complementary plan.